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Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu

4.5
#16 of 35 in Parks in Honolulu
The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a 200acre arboretum and botanical garden managed by the University of Hawaii at Mānoa located at the upper end of Mānoa Valley in Hawaii.Much of the Arboretum's botanical collection consists of an artificial lowland tropical rainforest with numerous trails and small water features.HistoryThe Manoa Arboretum was established in 1918 by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association to demonstrate watershed restoration and test various tree species for reforestation, as well as collect living plants of economic value. The original director of the arboretum was Dr. Harold L. Lyon, a botanist from Minnesota who was plant pathologist for the HSPA. During his tenure, Lyon planted nearly 2,000 species of trees on the site.In 1953, at Lyon's urging, the HSPA conveyed the arboretum site to the University of Hawaii, with the stipulation that the site continue to be used as an arboretum and botanical garden in perpetuity. After Lyon's death in 1957, the arboretum was renamed in his honor.Today, the Arboretum continues to develop its extensive tropical plant collection, while emphasizing native Hawaiian plants, such as Pritchardia spp. (palms). Its over 15,000 accessions focus primarily on the monocot families of palms, gingers, heliconias, bromeliads, and aroids. Native and Polynesian cultivated and wild species are displayed in the ethnobotanical, native ecosystems, and Hawaiian sections of the gardens. The Lyon Arboretum also maintains an active seed bank.
To visit Lyon Arboretum and other attractions in Honolulu, use our Honolulu road trip website .
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Lyon Arboretum Reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • October 1, 2017
    If you love nature and want to see incredible tropical plants and trees this is the place to be. It was one of my favorite places on the island. It only costs $5 to enter and the place is huge. They d...  more »
  • September 9, 2017
    Near the Visitor Center is a small free parking very handy when the road to get there is narrow and uphill, no possibility to park your car. The Botanical Garden is spread within the Valley where a main path also allows long walks. However most of the species are found in the first part. Unfortunately, maintenance is not always up to par, but it's a place where spend a morning (recommended adequate shoes).
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  • August 25, 2017
    We walked through the garden which didn't take long but had lots of beautiful plant life to enjoy. Then we took a walk through the parking lot up to Inspiration Point. Not a long hike but uphill. We w...  more »
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  • June 25, 2017
    Ideal place to view as many tropical flowers, trees, plants. Hiking is a must to appreciate everything this place has to offer. I prefer to observe nature from various angles so I was not able to view them all in the 3 hour time slot. If given another chance, I will stay longer. Camera is must to relive your experience once you depart.
  • July 2, 2017
    Visited this arboretum probably 7 years ago but had only viewed the beautiful gardens opposite the visitors center and parking lot. This time I loved the native Hawaiian garden and did the short hike to the waterfall (water trickle) twice! Went with a friend who carried her 7 month old baby (main trail is gravel path and rocks, not paved for strollers), and another friend with a knee injury but the terrain was ok as long as she watched out for slippery rocks and tree roots. Nice balance of manicured and natural growth areas. Make a donation at the visitors center and leave time at the end of your visit to shop!! Thankfully didn't need the umbrella we borrowed, but there were some at the visitors center they loan out just in case! Clean restrooms a plus! Definitely kid-friendly and will bring my own kids the next time!!
  • June 12, 2017
    A wonderful place for those interested in hiking & botanical wonders. Make sure you use mosquito repellent, even if you have to pay for the sheets when you sign in at the office or you will regret it! I always spend at least 2 hours here. It is also great for photography.
  • May 30, 2017
    It's definitely worth a visit. It's easy to get lost on the poorly marked trails though. There are tours. I think I'll take one next time.
  • May 20, 2017
    This place stunned me. Manoa was fine but hiking through this place was better. Get off the trail for some true photo-worthy views and learn about the beautiful plants and their uses.

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